Happiness in Kant’s Practical Philosophy: Morality, Indirect Duties, and Welfare Rights examines the role and normative implications of Kant's understanding of happiness for his moral, political, and legal philosophy. Kant’s underlying assumptions about happiness are rarely overtly discussed or given much detail in his works. By bringing these assumptions to the fore, Alice Pinheiro Walla sheds light on some puzzling claims and on the scattered, sometimes contradictory remarks Kant makes about happiness. The book shows that happiness shapes or indirectly influences Kant’s methodology and many of his conclusions, including his views on the nature of practical rationality, meta-ethics, the role of the state, and of political justification. The challenge with happiness is that it is impossible to know for certain what will make us happy, and what we take to be happiness changes over our lifetime. The book argues that Kant offers a distinctive strategy for dealing with this indeterminacy of happiness, one rooted in understanding our duties to ourselves and others. Happiness in Kant’s Practical Philosophy provides a map of the areas in which the concept of happiness or considerations about the happiness of individuals appear in Kant’s practical works and analyses the way they relate to central themes of his practical theory.
Alice Pinheiro Walla is associate professor in the Philosophy Department at McMaster University.
Chapter One: Kant's Concept of Happiness
Chapter Two: Kant’s Anti-eudaimonism in Moral Theory
Chapter Three: One’s Own Happiness and Indirect Duty
Chapter Four: Happiness and the Duty of Beneficence
Chapter Five: Excursus: Kant’s Moral Theory and Demandingness.
Chapter Six: Happiness in Kant’s Political and Legal Philosophy